Just hours after winning his 4th Canadian Open title, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Cincinnati event which began today.
Nadal did have a bye and was projected to meet either Dusan Lajovic or Milos Raonic in his opener late Tuesday or Wednesday. But he will not be playing.
“I am very sorry to announce that I won’t be playing in Cincinnati this year. No other reason than personally taking care of my body and trying to keep as healthy as I feel now.
“I am very thankful to my friend Andre Silva, Tournament Director of the Cincinnati tournament, who after speaking to him on the phone understood what I said to him and understands the situation. I am sure the tournament will be a success and I wish him and his team all the best.”
So it’s disappointing in that this would have been the first event with the full Big 4 since Wimbledon last year. And of course having Rafa (and your world No. 1) in the tournament is always a good thing.
But fortunately on the bright side it doesn’t sound like Rafa’s nursing any sort of injury, it just feels like he needs to rest after a tough week, and that may pay off as he eyes his upcoming US Open title defense.
Last year Rafa played five matches ahead of his US Open championship run. And this year he played exactly five in Toronto. Plus, by winning pct, Cincinnati’s been his worst of the nine Masters events, reaching the final just once in his 2013 title effort and only two other trips to the semifinals.
Since turning 30, Federer’s only played both Canada and Cincinnati once in 2014. Now 32, maybe Rafa’s thinking long term like Federer and thinking about focusing more on the Slams.
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